Chinese Copper Mines Threaten Old Buddhist City in Afghanistan
KABUL, (ANI) – An ancient Buddhist city near Kabul is in danger of disappearing forever, according to media reports, which hint that the city – one of the world’s largest copper deposits, is being swallowed up by China.
Mes Aynak is located at the confluence of Hellenistic and Indian cultures. It was once a vast city organized around the extraction and trade of copper. The site of Mes Aynak possesses 100 acres of complex of Buddhist monasteries, homes, over 400 Buddha statues, stupas, and market areas.
It contains artefacts recovered from the Bronze age, and some of them have been dated back over 3000 years.
In 2007, a 30-year lease was granted for the copper mine to the China Metallurgical Group for $3 billion.
Fifteen years later, the mine still does not exist — insecurity and disagreements between Beijing and Kabul over the financial terms of the contract have caused delays.
As per reports, the project is once again a priority for both parties.
All this historical material is in imminent danger of destruction by the mining endeavor. Many experts are comparing the Chinese mining company to those who destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan.
Despite the imminent danger, negotiations between Afghanistan’s new Taliban government and China are underway.